On Wednesday, August 14th, the first Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference will take place at the New York City Bar Association, hosted by the National Money Transmitters Association. The meeting will be chaired by Constance Choi, General Counsel of Payward Inc and a founding member of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority (“DATA”), a new self-regulatory body created by a number of major Bitcoin and digital asset-related businesses both in the United States and abroad. The meeting will have nine compliance experts speak in interactive sessions: former American Express Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Service Group counsel Judith Rinearson, commercial litigator and business attorney Marco Santori, Patton Boggs’ Government Investigations and Litigation practice group chair and former Department of Justice attorney Samuel Rosenthal, Perkins Coie litigator Jean Jacques Cabou, Unidos Financial Services cofounder and compliance risk manager Juan Llanos, Navigant Consulting’s Director of Global Investigations and Compliance Robert Pargac, AML Experts Inc president Connie Fenchel, National Money Transmitters Association director David Landsman and, most notably, former FinCEN director James H Freis Jr.
The schedule for the meeting can be found on the NMTA website; the event will start with a continental breakfast at 8:00, and at 9:00 the actual presentations will begin to take place. The conference will be organized into four one-and-a-half hour blocks, with each block containing two or three presentations, and two coffee breaks and a lunch break in between. At the end of the conference the day will finish with a networking cocktail mixer from 17:15-19:00. After that, the conference will formally end, but there will also be an optional discussion on lobbying and self-regulatory strategies.
This conference is notable because it shows well the effort that big Bitcoin businesses are taking to integrate themselves into the mainstream, and the mainstream’s willingness to take them seriously. This is a conference that, despite attempts to frame it around a wider issue of “virtual currencies”, is essentially about Bitcoin, and major players from the financial industry and self-regulatory and government regulatory agencies are seeing it fit to take the time to speak to this audience. Some may argue that the government’s wheels have simply only started to turn, and we will see much more active attempts to suppress Bitcoin in the years to come, but for the time being relationships between the US Bitcoin business community and government regulators appear to be surprisingly positive – a state of affairs that those in organizations like DATA are striving hard to maintain.
Brian Santos is offering extended early bird pricing, allowing anyone who wishes to attend to buy a ticket to the conference for $295 – paying bitcoins if necessary.